Ten Years On, an East Bay Housing Project Poised to Move Forward

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When Bay Area Council Senior Vice President Matt Regan first testified in support of a 315-unit housing project in Lafayette in 2011, his daughter was just learning to ride a bicycle. Ten years later, Regan testified again in support of the project, on the same day he took his daughter on her first driving lesson. The Terraces project in this small East Bay town is a poster child for everything that is wrong with how new housing gets approved in California and highlights the lengths to which local opponents will go to block new housing.

A Contra Costa County Superior Court judge this week may have removed the final obstacle to the project, issuing a tentative ruling against a local opposition group that had sued to reverse the city’s approval arguing it violated the California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA). The ease with which CEQA can be abused in lawsuits to block or delay all types of projects makes it one of the chief tools in the toolbox of housing opponents. The judge is expected to make the ruling final today, hopefully allowing this much-needed project to finally begin construction.

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